School students at risk
by Chris Chamberlain & David MacKenzie
Youth Studies Australia, v.15 n.4 pp.11-18
The community's understanding of youth homelessness is slowly changing - from a predominant concern with 'street kids' for much of the 1990s, to an increasing focus on 'early intervention' and young people 'at risk' in more recent times. This paper presents the main findings from a study of 41,000 secondary school students which was designed to enumerate the 'at risk' population in nine communities. The research reveals that in a typical school with 1,000 students, there will be 100 to 140 young people who are at risk, and this will include 40 to 60 students who are seriously at risk. The paper concludes that there is a need for an effective welfare infrastructure in all schools, and it uses examples of 'best practice' to describe what this might look like.
Missing school: Implications of curriculum structuring for students with attendance problems
by Peter Kilpatrick
Youth Studies Australia, v.15 n.4 pp.19-22
Do we too readily assume that students with poor attendance rates simply don't like school? Education agencies are beginning to examine the reasons why some students have poor attendance rates with the aim of using this information to enhance teaching and learning for all students. In this article, based on a recent Tasmanian survey, the author looks at the characteristics and attitudes of a group of students who have difficulty attending school, and focuses on both the curriculum and the structural implications of the students' responses.
Who pays for crime? Punishing young people and their families
by Richard Hil
Youth Studies Australia, v.15 n.4 pp.23-27
To what extent should parents be held responsible, and consequently punished, for the actions of their children? This article looks at current state and territory legislation covering parental responsibility, restitution and compensation and reviews some of the criticisms of this as a solution to juvenile crime, a solution that 'transforms failure as a parent into a crime'.
Ten arguments against youth curfews
by Rob White
Youth Studies Australia, v.15 n.4 pp.28-30
Do youth curfews work? Are they fair? Are they really the way forward for youth policy? Will they reduce crime? The author, who lectures in Criminology at the University of Melbourne, believes the broad answer to these questions is 'no'. In this discussion opener he puts the case against youth curfews.
At risk youth participation in sport and recreation
by Allan Colthart
Youth Studies Australia, v.15 n.4 pp.31-37
Being physically active and taking part in sport and recreational activities are commonly acknowledged as essential to health and well-being, especially during youth. The life circumstances of young people 'at risk', however, often present barriers to the participation of this group in the very activities that would be of benefit to them. This report of a Perth study confirms the deficit at risk young people experience in sport and recreational activity and suggests some ways of overcoming this disadvantage.
Ignored to death: Representations of young gay men, lesbians and bisexuals in Australian youth suicide policy and programs
by Mic Emslie
Youth Studies Australia, v.15 n.4 pp.38-42
With the incidence of suicide or suicide ideation significantly higher among gay and lesbian young people than among heterosexual young people, we should, argues the author, see specific policy and program responses addressing this group. Instead there is a conspicuous lack of representation of young gay men, lesbians and bisexuals in youth suicide research and in program and policy development. He outlines the processes which marginalise this group of young people and raises questions regarding public policy formulation.
Substance abuse: Defining the issues in favour of a detox centre for youth
by Christopher Lennings & Michelle Kerr
Youth Studies Australia, v.15 n.4 pp.43-46
This paper reviews arguments in favour of the establishment of a specific youth detoxification centre - in this case, in Brisbane. Evidence for a need for such a centre can be found in surveys of drug use by young people, and by perceptions of youth workers. A review of detoxification services currently provided for youth in southeast Queensland finds them under-used and unable to provide an age appropriate program. Recommendations for the future require a funding response to set up and support such a service.